We design great spaces….for people. Design without end-user input is easy but will it create a space that people actively want to use?
Visioning sessions reveal desires. After a few years of leading them you can predict the requests, the wish list items are achievable. But what about when the request is viable but is disruptive to the status quo?
It’s very easy to say no and to simply repeat what has been done before. It’s less work. A cookie-cutter model is a quicker, simpler project to deliver. We don’t have to figure out a solution or negotiate with other people’s work streams or agendas.
The get out clause of “It’s not standard” can be translated as “It’s nothing to do with me, Guv’nor, I am just the delivery agent, I don’t make the decisions.” The risk here is that this gives a message that the decision has already been made; it fosters the question ‘why bothering consulting with people?’
Or we could say ‘yes’, or at the least “We’ll consider it”. So when end users ask for low hanging fruit such as….:
- To be part of the furniture selection process for their office
- A choice of designs for spaces they are going to work in
- To have a vote on colours they will be surrounded by
- To influence the graphics/artwork choices they will have to live with…
….we can start talking to the team and figure out what the right answer is.
We can say “No”. We can say “That’s not how we do things.” or “We only give you X choice.” Or we can work out how to say “Yes” and be able to deliver a responsive workplace that people feel is theirs.
Workplace design isn’t about us, it’s about them. Let’s take the risk and make it happen.